Matthew 14:10-21 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison, and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came and took the body and buried it, and they went and told Jesus. Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself.But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
During this same account Mark 6:34 says, “When Jesus came ashore, He saw a large crowd. He felt deep concern for them. They were like sheep without a shepherd. So He began teaching them many things." Jesus loved each and every person in that crowd and He knew that there was so much they still didn’t understand about the kingdom of God. So even though He needed rest and time to grieve, He put the spiritual & physical needs of the crowd before His own by teaching and feeding them. Mark tells us that the people in the crowd were like sheep without a shepherd, which means they were lost and confused. By teaching and feeding them Jesus was a kind and loving Shepherd they needed Him to be. The disciples thought that the only logical explanation was to send the crowd away. They didn’t have the money or the materials to feed such a large crowd on such short notice. They did not have the means to meet their needs. BUT Jesus’ response to their solution was His way of showing the disciples that there was no way they could solve the problem on their own. Jesus wanted the disciples to trust Him and to know that He alone was able to meet their need. The disciples didn’t multiply the bread and fish, but they got to be apart of the miracle anyway. Though the disciples had unbelief, Jesus still chose to use them during this miraculous circumstance. So many times we, as Christians, have trouble trusting if God is really going to come through for us. And even in our times of unbelief, God shows us His faithfulness.